- By: Jeff Erickson
- Photography by: Greg Thomas
- and Jeff Erickson
You can chase cutthroats on easily accessed streams, such as the Snake, near Jackson, or head out from there to reach remote, wilder waters that are full of cutthroats and are visited by few anglers.
- By: Stephen Camelio
They say you should write what you know, and this advice has paid off handsomely for author C.J. Box. His best-selling novels, most of which feature crime-solving game warden Joe Pickett (who, like Box, is a Wyoming native, outdoorsman and dedicated family man), have sold millions of copies and won Box countless awards, including an Edgar Award in 2009, from the Mystery Writers of America, for Best Novel. Box and Pickett (who is once again the main character of Box’s newest work, Force of Nature, released this past March), share one other very important characteristic—both are avid fly fishermen. And while Pickett’s angling stories are fictitious, Box, in one of the few spare moments when he wasn’t either fishing or writing, agreed to share the truth behind his own fish tales.
Ice-out fishing in Alaska is not for the easily chilled. In fact, if you choose to chase rainbow trout during March and April (or even May and June), the weather will range between cold and evil cold. Even so, a group of us—four from Anchorage plus me—have been hitting Alaska early for many years, the reward being some massive “bow-bows” ranging from 25 inches to just short of prehistoric dimensions. Last year, however, just like 2010, the weather tested everyone’s commitment. In the mornings and evenings we were warmed by meals and blazing fires at our cabin, but the days belonged to the wind.
Our routine was to roll out in the mornings when the temperature was, if not reasonable, at least prudent. We’d hoped for 30-degree days but 18 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit is what the week served up, usually with some savage, ass-kicking wind-chill factor to go with it. How cold is savage, you ask. How’s eight degrees work for you when trying to execute a snap-T?
- By: Travis Lowe
- , Brian O'Keefe
- , Jeff Currier
- and Len Waldren
The Blackbird Hatch
Chico, california bass fanatic kevin price was 50 feet to my right as we waded 75 yards off the shore of Oregon’s Davis Lake. The reeds were so loaded with damselflies that there was a blueish hue to the horizon. We were casting poppers, searching for largemouth when the quiet morning was racked by an explosion—the kind of disturbance a big bass makes. Price stopped casting and glanced at me with a strange look. He asked, “Wasn’t a blackbird sitting there a moment ago?” There was no evidence other than concentric circles expanding across the water.
“I believe there was, and now there isn’t.”
- By: Thierry Bombeke
- Photography by: Val Atkinson
The Ambien failed badly, giving me just 45 minutes of sleep during a 36-hour slog from coastal Maine to New Zealand, specifically the pastoral town of Murchison, where I started the first leg of a three-lodge, eight-day trout blitz.
Fortunately, fatigue was overridden by the adrenaline high that comes with visiting an exceedingly exotic new place that, amongst other wonders, harbors large brown and rainbow trout in good numbers. Within minutes of my arrival at Scott and Leya Murray’s beautiful River Haven Lodge, we were on the banks of a nearby freestoner, Scott rigging my 9-foot 5-weight with an 18-foot leader and a strike indicator, the mono tipped with a dark beadhead caddis.